TROY, N.Y. — Rensselaer was without a goal in 87:44 and down 1-0 to the St. Lawrence Saints before freshman Kevin Croxton came to the rescue for the Engineers Saturday night. Croxton scored twice in the third period to give the Engineers a 2-1 win over the Saints and a weekend split in ECAC play.
On the first goal, Croxton was fed by Matt McNeely on a long up-ice pass and came across the blue line with a Saint draped all over him. Croxton managed to get a backhanded shot up and over the shoulder of Kevin Ackley to tie the game.
The tie was broken 4:16 later as Saint Ryan Glenn tried a pass from behind his goal line that was intercepted by Keith McWilliams. McWilliams came in and put the puck across the crease to Croxton, who managed to get his stick on the puck and put it behind Ackley.
“It was nice to get the first one out of the way at least,” said Croxton. “McNeely made a great play and he flipped it up. I got a lucky bounce and flipped it up by going backhand.
“McWilliams just had a great play. He just took it wide and shoveled it to me and I was there at the right time.”
“That was a great team win; we played well defensively and we realize that it will be scoring by committee and guys stepping up,” said Engineer coach Dan Fridgen. “They showed a lot of character coming back after a disappointing loss last night and got the split at home, which I thought was real key.”
“You like to steal a win on the road like that, but we had two tough losses by one goal. I told the guys that most of the games are going to be like that,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “But they got the extra breaks when they needed them.
“Our big thing is to stop that drastic turnover and we had one tonight. The guys are playing hard, but mistakes happen.”
The Saints took the lead in the first period when Jim Lorentz scored on the power play by roofing a puck over Nathan Marsters. From there the teams played up-and-down hockey before the Engineers broke through in the third.
“It was the best game we played this year,” said Marsh. “I was real pleased with our effort there; we had some great chances and both goalies played extremely well. The big thing is that we were able to come out and skate and do some of the things we did against a good team.
“That’s the way the games are in this league. It doesn’t take that much — sometimes it’s just a fine line between losing one and winning one, and we saw that tonight.”
“I thought we played real hard last night and tonight,” said Fridgen. “At times we were playing not as smart as we like, but I just thinking between the second and third period that we had a chat in there and it would have been sad to come away with two losses on the weekend and only allow three goals.
“I thought we did a great job defensively, Nathan played well when they got the shots through and we had a freshman step for us in the third period when we needed it. That’s what we’re all about this year.”
The Engineers (5-5-0, 1-1-0 ECAC) will travel to Yale and Princeton next weekend while the Saints (2-6-1, 1-2-0 ECAC) will host Harvard and Brown.